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Washing Machines: Detergent Drawer Troubleshooting

Have you ever finished a wash cycle on your appliance and realised that not all the detergent has entered the machine but is still sat in the drawer? The most common cause is usually a blockage somewhere in the system. This can happen at times, but how do we resolve it? Here is our advice to fix problems with your detergent drawer.

Is water entering the appliance? Check the inlet!

Before delving deep into troubleshooting, you should firstly check if water is entering the appliance. If not, this will be the reason why the detergent is not moving. We would recommend checking your inlet pipes for any kinks/bends, and check that the water tap is fully open.

When did you last clean the detergent drawer?                   

Your washing machine detergent drawer should be cleaned regularly to maintain the performance of the appliance. To clean the drawer, you should remove it from the appliance and rinse under the sink. If necessary, use a small soft brush to clean away any stubborn debris.

It isn’t only the drawer that needs cleaning, but the cavity space that it sits in too should be wiped down. We recommend using a damp cloth with warm water to wipe any dirt or debris that could be causing any blockages.

Is the drawer correctly assembled?

The assembly of the drawer can affect the performance. Your drawer is likely to have a detergent siphon, usually a small cap underneath the different sections. This is a significant part for the drawer as it helps to take in water and drain away detergent and fabric softener into the drum. If this is not fitted properly, this will not operate. To check this, simply dissemble and reassemble the drawer using your instruction manual as reference. If you think you might be missing any parts, get in touch with the relevant support team to assist you.

Can you see any blockages or build-up?

You should check the pipe which the detergent flows through for any blockages. This is situated beneath the drawer, in the cavity space. We would recommend using a small brush or thin tool to push away any potential blockages. If there is a big blockage in this area, you can try some white vinegar or bicarbonate soda solution to break down any detergent build up and clear.

What mix of detergent and powder are you using?

Using the wrong powder or too much power can thicken fast and create blockages in the drawer. This is because the powder generally thickens once wet. Try using less powder or try a different detergent types to see if this improves.

Are you using the right sections?

Did you know that the different sections in your drawer mean something? Each section is meant for a different cleaning product. Generally there are 3; the main was compartment for detergent, the softener compartment for fabric softener, and the prewash compartment for the prewash detergent. These will also have maximum lines outlined to ensure these are not overfilled. These have a specific layout for dispensing into the machine, so if this is not followed it may not dispense or could become blocked. Check the labels or user guide for the different sections.


To summarise...

Using your detergent drawer correctly and keeping clean can rectify and prevent blockages from building up, meaning you can get the best performance form your washing machine.

For more article on kitchen appliances, click here.